Lobbying for change
It is clear that the government must address the rising cost of clinical negligence claims. We have had detailed discussions with them on the need for government action. We have made it clear that the cost of clinical negligence is having a very real impact on independent consultants and that current trends are unsustainable. We have called for:
- The government to consider ways of reducing the financial impact of risk on clinicians, allowing subscriptions to be more affordable;
- The launch of a full and frank review of the wider system in which clinical negligence claims are managed; and,
- The introduction of predictability, discipline and transparency to the legal process by establishing a pre-action protocol with appropriate financial penalties for non-compliance.
The rapid deterioration in the claims environment has made it increasingly clear that significant tort law reform is required. In the coming months we plan to push for further reform and are in the process of carefully considering and analysing reforms that could effect real and lasting improvements to the claims environment.
We understand, and indeed share, your concerns about rising subscription rates, caused by the increase in both the cost of settling claims and the frequency with which independent consultants are being sued.
We have worked hard – and will continue to work hard – to try to mitigate the impact that these increases are having. We would like to assure you that, although these are difficult times, MPS is committed to offering membership to doctors in Ireland. We will continue to do everything we can to push for government reforms that address the rising cost of clinical negligence.